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Drunk driver sentenced for fatal East Haven crash

"There is no satisfaction of drunk driving." The words of a young drunk driving victim's uncle ring true for too many people in Connecticut and across the country. Unfortunately, every year thousands of people continue to get behind the wheel after drinking. A 16-year-old East Haven boy's story illustrates the consequences of these negligent decisions all too clearly.

In 2011, the boy and his friend were walking in the bike lane of a street. The town had just been hit by Tropical Storm Irene, so the street lights were out. The 16-year-old was hit by a drunk driver, who kept going after striking the boy. Later, police would find that the 52-year-old's blood alcohol content was substantially higher than the legal limit for driving.

Half an hour after the accident, the man returned to the scene, where he told police that he hit something earlier. He admitted that he had consumed alcohol before driving.

On Friday, a judge ordered the man to spend five years in prison. He will a have to pay restitution to the victim's family and volunteer with Mothers Against Drunk Driving during each of the five years of parole he was ordered to complete. He will not be able to drive for two years.

Unfortunately, the penalties this man faces will never bring back the young boy he killed when he chose to drive drunk. As the boy's family struggles to cope with such a difficult loss, hopefully their tragedy will help prevent others from choosing to get behind the wheel after consuming alcohol.

Source: New Haven Register, "East Haven men gets 5 years in prison for fatal 2011 DUI hit-and-run," Michael Bellmore, March 15, 2013

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